In journalism, when a reporter can’t get an interview with a principal subject, she might do a “write around,” compiling open-source information about that figure and then drawing a few conclusions. Similarly, poets grappling with an inexpressible emotion, for which there is no vocabulary, have to write around their subject and attempt to depict it. Thus, poets are kind of like journalists who can’t get a return phone call from “the ennui of adolescent alienation” or “the existential dread of postmodern suburbia” but who gamely attempt to write up the profile anyway. Today, four poets appear at the Writers Place (3607 Pennsylvania, 816-753-1090) for a performance of work from When She Named Fire: An Anthology of Contemporary Poetry by American Women. Robin Behn, Michelle Boisseau and Jo McDougall all contributed to the book, which was edited by poet Andrea Hollander Budy. Via the strained analogy above, they’re like four Christiane Amanpours reporting from the war-torn region of “the shared pain of material existence.” The reading starts at 7 p.m. with a suggested donation of $3 to $5.
Fri., Sept. 25, 7 p.m., 2009